Evonik and HP develop a 3D printable thermoplastic elastomer

Jesse Lea, GoProto, 3D Druck, 3D Printing, TPA, elastomer, Additive Manufacturing, Additive Fertigung

Evonik and HP have developed a flexible high-performance specialty powder based on a thermoplastic amide grade (TPA) for 3D printing. The co-branded material will only serve applications on HP’s Multi-Jet Fusion.

The development of new ready-to-use specialty materials tailored to customer requirements belongs to Evonik’s DNA: The company is a leading producer of innovative high-performance powders, filaments, and liquid resins for all important 3D-printing technologies,” says Sylvia Monsheimer, Head of the New 3D Printing Technologies market segment at Evonik. “The new TPA is a perfect example of successful collaboration between Evonik and HP—that is, between the materials and the technology aspects of 3D printing—to develop the perfect printing parameters in close conjunction, so as to finally allow a smooth and trouble-free printing process.” 

Key specifications of the new co-branded material & first tests performed by GoProto

The flexible, lightweight construction material has a low density of 1.01 g/cm³ and a Shore A hardness of 91. It meets all the processability criteria required for optimized and production-grade parts.

When it is processed by HP’s Jet Fusion 4200 series of 3D printers, operators get an experience similar to that of HP’s branded PA12 polyamide. It’s been a few years now that parts producers across the world are using this series of 3D printers. Adding a new elastomer can only be a great benefit for their production portfolio as it becomes another option to 3D print ready-to-use prototypes without tooling.

Furthermore, the PA12 polyamide is usually leveraged for automotive applications, which means that this new material can also achieve such applications. In addition to automotive applications, Evonik explains that the high performance polymer is also a good candidate for series products that require high extensibility and energy return, such as sports equipment.

GoProto, a US-based rapid manufacturing partner has already tested the new elastomer: “We have had customers make ducts and bellows and footwear, athletic equipment, wearables and harnesses/connector parts. The combination of production quality material properties like high wear resistance, energy return, longevity and light weight continues to impress at every application. We at GoProto are extremely excited about the incredible value this brings to our clients developing new products in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment,” explains Jesse Lea, President & CEO at GoProto, Inc. 

Bauteil, Part, 3D Druck, 3D Printing, TPA, elastomer, Additive Manufacturing, Additive Fertigung

While the industry will have to wait for Formnext Connect to discover more about the 3D printable TPA, it should be noted it has been developed by both parties (Evonik and HP) and it will be sold exclusively through HP.

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